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yperman

Book prices

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yperman

Has anyone else noticed that some of the dealers offering books on Amazon ( not Amazon itself) are asking silly prices - running into hundreds and even thousands of pounds for titles which are offered by other dealers at the more usual £10 to £20? Can anyone explain this curious practice?

Yperman

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keithmroberts

Various reasons spring to mind: lunacy, fat finger syndrome, plain stupidity, great patience.

Keith

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keithjk

I think 'fat-finger syndrome', as mentioned by Keith, is the main reason. A misplaced decimal point or comma can turn a reasonable price into something ridiculous.

Keith

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MartH

I always thought it was some trick to keep your listing on Amazon without having to delete it or something like that according to a book dealer.

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CaroleHope

Has anyone else noticed that some of the dealers offering books on Amazon ( not Amazon itself) are asking silly prices - running into hundreds and even thousands of pounds for titles which are offered by other dealers at the more usual £10 to £20? Can anyone explain this curious practice?

Yperman

Has anyone else noticed that some of the dealers offering books on Amazon ( not Amazon itself) are asking silly prices - running into hundreds and even thousands of pounds for titles which are offered by other dealers at the more usual £10 to £20? Can anyone explain this curious practice?

Yperman

There is definitely some devious reason behind it. This has happened on several occasions to my book, prompting a few sarcastic comments that I could have done without. I have tried emailing both Amazon and the dealer concerned to try and establish the reason, without success. Amazon say it is nothing to do with them and the dealer, despite saying on their website that they reply to emails within a couple of days, never reply. My publisher says it is not a typo, but a dealer trying to pull the wool over unsuspecting eyes when stocks of a particular book are low. Another trick is that the number of market place "offers" are inflated because several different names come under the umbrella of one dealer and offer the book at different prices. When you buy from one such dealer, the offer disappears off the list of the other names it trades under, making it look as if two or more books have been sold when in fact only one has been sold.

Carole

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Promenade

An 'enterprising' seller currently has two copies of my book "Leaving all that was Dear - Cheltenham and the Great War' for sale - the price for each copy- £2,499.50 + £2.80 UK delivery. To paraphrase a well-known saying 'Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the British people' !



Get them while you can !


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Moonraker

Ridiculous pricing has related to second-hand versions of a couple of my books, eg £150 for a 1999 publication with a cover price of £12.95, and on a lesser scale, to copies of books very soon after they came out, when a premium above the cover price was quoted.

Has anyone, in the guise of a prospective purchaser, emailed such optimistic vendors to query the price?

(I was typing this post just as Promenade cited the ridiculous example above. You would think that delivery would be free!

Moonraker

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John_Hartley

Readers will, no doubt, be glad to know that they can get a copy of my 17th Manchesters history, either new or secondhand, via an Amazon seller at a bargain £4314.08.

Or you could get it from Reveille Press for £30.

FWIW, I've assumed that the reason was as MartH puts it in post #4.

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David Filsell

It is clearly not finger trouble. But when these prices at the top the list ahead of much cheaper copies who buys them? I too fail to understand the dealers' thinking or how it can be an effective scam.

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centurion

Its usually possible to set your account search criteria so it always shows the cheapest prices first - that's how mine are set on Amazon, ABE and some others - seems to work. One can only conclude that the dealers are not trying to sell copies at those prices (perhaps they don't even have copies) but merely using them to keep a place in the database so that they show up in searches

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Dust Jacket Collector

I read somewhere that this is caused by a particular computer programme used by some of the more unscrupulous dealers. You use it to scan for stock available elsewhere, double or triple that price & then list the books as yours. When they get a bite they order it from the original seller and pass it on to you at the inflated price. Trouble is when more than one seller uses the same programme it inevitably leads to some very silly pricing.

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centurion

I read somewhere that this is caused by a particular computer programme used by some of the more unscrupulous dealers. You use it to scan for stock available elsewhere, double or triple that price & then list the books as yours. When they get a bite they order it from the original seller and pass it on to you at the inflated price. Trouble is when more than one seller uses the same programme it inevitably leads to some very silly pricing.

I've seen something similar in oil and gas futures trading, especially involving swaps when I was involved with the industry but I don't quite see how it works with books - unless there are such things as books futures.

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stevem49

I have noticed that my book is listed at anything from 15 to 1500 pounds. Usually from the USofA for expensive ones.

I have Day by Day Passchendaele on offer at £2000 :w00t:

In fact for the right offer, I will sell any of my library :whistle:

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Moonraker

I read somewhere that this is caused by a particular computer programme used by some of the more unscrupulous dealers. You use it to scan for stock available elsewhere, double or triple that price & then list the books as yours. When they get a bite they order it from the original seller and pass it on to you at the inflated price. Trouble is when more than one seller uses the same programme it inevitably leads to some very silly pricing.

When my two books came out in 2012 I was surprised/amused to note they were being listed as being available from dealers in several countries where any interest in the Great War in Wiltshire would have been negligible.I reckoned that at least three-quarters of the listings were opportunistic, ie on the lines suggested by Dust Jacket Collector. Most, but not all, of the prices asked were quite reasonable.

Moonraker

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centurion

Another forum

See post 28, among others.

Moonraker

Essentially what I surmised in post 10

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keithmroberts

I read somewhere that this is caused by a particular computer programme used by some of the more unscrupulous dealers. You use it to scan for stock available elsewhere, double or triple that price & then list the books as yours. When they get a bite they order it from the original seller and pass it on to you at the inflated price. Trouble is when more than one seller uses the same programme it inevitably leads to some very silly pricing.

Amazon, where I sell a few used books, also suffers from the reverse cunning trick. Some large enterprises, a couple of them allegedly supporting charities run software that compares prices and undercuts rivals by 1p. These scans can run almost on the hour. I have tested them out when annoyed. On one occasion I was so peeved that I reduced a book from £55 to £12. Wihtin the hour the company concerned had their copy reduced to £11.99.

I bought it and withdrew my item for a while.

keith

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Black Maria

I also sell some of my books on Amazon and I noticed that one seller has software that makes their listing appear first when searched for and if you try and list

your book with theirs it will drop your listing out after a week and you need to keep relisting it if you want your book to stay visible, I looked at some of the other

books they had for sale and their books are the only ones listed under each title.

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Loader

Maybe in some cases a bit of greed tossed in?

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healdav

I once came across a book at a used book fair, priced at 60€.

The point was that in the bookshop across the road, the same book was available new at 20€. When I pointed that out the bookseller just shrugged.

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MartH

This all goes to show that buy and selling on the internet is not an efficient market as the blurb would have use believe. As the library of Congress says everything has a monetary value it is purely what someone is prepared to pay. Things sold are that, offer prices are only what someone is hoping for.

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keithfazzani

One of the anomalies that confuse me is that some N&M books can be considerably cheaper when purchased via Abe books than when purchased from the N&M. These are new copies and supplied by N&M and even with postage work out cheaper. Can anyone explain why?

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centurion

The problem with classic market theory as I was was taught it as part of my first degree is that it assumes that buyers and sellers make rational decisions based on their own needs. Unfortunately many recent academic and practical research into decision making in a market environment have shown that this can be a false assumption and decisions can often be illogical. The use of algorithms by traders can also exaggerate errors and create perverse effects. All that can be said is that whilst markets are often not efficient the problems they produce pale into insignificance compared to those produced by command economies.

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MartH

One of the anomalies that confuse me is that some N&M books can be considerably cheaper when purchased via Abe books than when purchased from the N&M. These are new copies and supplied by N&M and even with postage work out cheaper. Can anyone explain why?

It happens on other sites too, I think they are shifting some copies without amending their own website.

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David Filsell

I like simple solutions. Posts 10 and 15 seem to make absolute sense to me.

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